Cats can experience tooth and mouth discomfort that might stop them from eating. In this blog, our Lincoln vets explain some of the best ways you can help keep your cat's mouth clean and healthy.
Cat Dental Care
Cats are really good at hiding when they're in pain, even if they have problems with their teeth. So, it's important for cat owners to pay attention to their cat's oral health. So, it's important for cat owners to pay attention to their cat's oral health. By doing this, you can catch any health problem early and get your cat treated before they gets worse ( name more costly).
Annual Dental Checkups For Your Feline Family Member
To help ensure that your feline friend's mouth remains pain-free and as healthy as possible, our Critter Creek Veterinary Hospital veterinarians advise that you make annual dental visits to your pet's office part of their routine professional care. Your veterinarian will be able to evaluate your pet's oral health on top of their general physical health and will be able to let you know if any professional cleanings or surgeries will be required to restore your cat's good health.
How To Clean Your Cat's Teeth
To keep your cat's teeth and gums healthy, it's best to clean them every day at home. Start when your cat is young to make it easier. Get your kitty used to having their mouth touched and teeth brushed.
This way, they won't mind it as much when you brush their teeth. To make your cat's teeth-cleaning process as easy as possible while they are at home, ensure you get your kitty into the habit of touching their teeth and brushing their teeth while they are still young. This way, they will be accustomed to the sensation and more tolerant of brushing.
Your goal should be to make brushing your cat's teeth as stress-less as possible by incorporating it into your cat's daily routines. Start by waiting until your cat is relaxed and calm, and then take the following steps:
- Gently lift your cat's lips, then use your finger to massage their teeth and gums for just a few seconds.
- Don't expect too much from your cat at first. You may only be able to reach a couple of teeth the first few times you try this process. That's okay, though. This is about building trust in your cat to help prevent them from becoming agitated.
- Remain calm, and be sure to give lots of praise and a yummy treat after your teeth-and-gum massage. You're trying to build your cat's tolerance to the experience, gradually increasing the length of time you spend on the task each day.
- Once your feline friend is used to you massaging their gums each day, you will be able to gradually introduce a soft-bristled toothbrush you can acquire from your vet and some special cat toothpaste. Toothpaste can come in a range of excellent flavors for cats, like beef or chicken.
- Begin using the toothbrush as gradually as you did the teeth-and-gum massage; your cat may begin by licking just a small dab of toothpaste from your finger.
How long and how thoroughly you brush your cat's teeth depends mostly on their temperament. Make sure you remain flexible and adapt your approach to accommodate your cat's tolerance. Some cat owners have a very easy time cleaning their feline friend's teeth with gauze, while others find that a finger brush works well. Others may even apply a dental gel with their fingers that can do some of the work for them.
Work along the gum line quickly when you start brushing, but stop before your cat gets upset. When you finally begin brushing your cat's teeth successfully, move along the gum line, working quickly but stopping before your cat becomes irritated. It could be weeks before your kitty tolerates having all of its teeth cleaned during a single session.
If your cat is alarmed or stressed out by the process of having their teeth cleaned, it may react by scratching or biting. So, if brushing your cat's teeth becomes too difficult for you and your feline companion, consider adding plaque remover to their drinking water, getting them specially designed chew toys, or providing them with dental treats.
Remember, in addition to our efforts, your cat will need professional dental cleaning by a vet to keep their teeth healthy.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.